Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Beaching

Spousal unit had a conference on the coast this past week.  A friend also invited us to finish the week with her at her condo in Gulf Shores. Definite winner!

In my haste to get all packed, loaded and roaring, I committed a fatal error.  A thing called sometimers disease kicked in.  Ole Otis Dog wanted to play, as always, and I didn't quite get everything packed, as in parts to the CPAP machine.  Boy did I pay for that oversight!

The conference was for the Mississippi Nurses Association, held at the Gulf Coast Convention Center.  As expected, most stayed at the Beau Rivage, using the special room discount.  Sucked those gals right in, into the casino and those all you can eat buffets!

The spousal unit usually stays at the beach Hampton, for its location and most importantly, for the hotel points.  As we were checking in, the hotel lobby was buzzing with activity from a large group of seniors.  Apparently they were in town for a reunion.  They were talking about this and that.  One couple said they couldn't find a certain restaurant from a visit in years past, even after trying that dang GPS that their kids had given them.  Kept saying "you have arrived at your destination", a strip club parking lot!

One thing about a crowd of seniors in a hotel lobby, it ain't like being in the library.  With all of them making conversation at the same time, you could barely hear your self think.  If they had their hearing aids in you couldn't tell it.  No conversation in this crowd was private.  Everybody talking at the top of their vocal range.  It was so loud you would thought they were a bunch of drunk college kids on spring break!  My future was unfolding before my eyes, of my!!!

While the spousal unit was busy doing that nursing thang of hers, I made a roadie trip back home for the rest of the parts to my air machine.  Yep, that sometimers disease is a bitch!  Next day, all rested up, I did my usual exploring routine.  Picked up some supplies for yet another ice chest cooler box build, then made my way to the SHED, for some Q.  Seafood is a wonderful thang, but you can only do the Bubba Gump thing for just so many meals.  BBQ is the next best thing!  Cracks me up to be there and watch and listen to first time visitors.  My recommendation, split the combo plate on your first visit, as this gives you a taste of everythang coming off their smoker!

That night we went to our favorite chain burger joint, Steak & Shake.  Yep! We got one on the coast!  Its in Harrah's.  The only down side, its a shrunk down version, and you have to go through the casino to get to it.  Then, your conversations are drowned out a bit from all the bells and chimes going off around you from the slot machines.  And then there is the smell and tastes of all that cigarette smoke.  Yeah, its a Steak & Shake, but it just ain't the same :-(.

Convention over, and we're off to Gulf Shores!  Mobile tunnel no problem this time of year.  Saw peanuts being harvested, and cabbage and other cold weather crops being planted.  And it seems like the antique stores and junk shops are multiplying!

We stopped for a late lunch at the Shrimp Basket, since that urge for shrimps had hit us again.  Got a kick out of watching our waitress come and go.  She was a little thang, but she was about in her seventh or eighth month.  Her apron wasn't in the usual spot, since that youngin in the oven was occupying most of the available space.  The apron was tied in the back, barely hanging off her butt, and the front was well protected from the elements, all tucked in up under!  She couldn't see a thang in the apron, having most of her stuff to one side or the other.  I'm still chuckling about it as I type!

Stopped for some cooking supplies before heading to the Condo.  The last grocery store, on the right, has been taken over and remodeled on the inside by a grocery store out of Louisiana called Rouses.  Highly recommend it!

Condo is 20 stories high, with the first three floors being parking garage.  I knew it was high rent district when I noticed the glassed in room surrounding the elevator doors had its own a/c unit.  The eighteenth floor has some awesome views, til you look down!

Next day we made our way to the surf and sand.  This being a short trip, I didn't bring all of my beaching toys, just two chairs, one umbrella, one umbrella anchor, two cup holders, and of course my handy dandy smartass phone, for bird watching and such.

The weather was just right for those that can't take the summer heat.  The surf was inviting, until you stuck your toes in it,  good God it was cold!  Not a whole lot of folks on the beach this time of year.  In fact, I only saw two birds and they both had feathers on them!  I recorded a video of the waves crashing on the beach and posted it on FB and captioned it as my version of "roll tide", since this was football Saturday.  It wasn't five minutes later, a gust of wind came up, and blew over somebody's umbrella (not anchored), with its Alabama Crimson Tide letter A on it.  That umbrella went tumbling down the beach, with a tramp stamped mother of four giving it chase.  Could not help it, had to let out a big belly laugh, and forgot all about taking a pic!

Made  it back to the room in time to groom up for the Dawgs and Rebs games of the day.  I had cooked a pot of red beans and rice with sausage simmering in the mix, and what a fine meal it was on this cool day.  Keeping up with my tradition from the MSU vs Texas A&M game, the drawers went on backwards.  The tradition will continue as long as the win streak continues.  Dawgs won!

The Rebellion game came on as the Dawgs were wrapping up.  They were playing their bitter rival, those corn dog smelling LSU tigers!  It seems the ladies of the condo crowd had been saving up their energies through the Dawg contest.  In no time flat they were yelling and screaming at their Quarterback, Bo Wallace.  Hate for that boy to be dating one of their daughters.....

As the game was coming to a close, I was fearful for my own life.  The spousal unit had already hit me with couch pillows in her excitement over the game.  Those tigers had gone ahead 10-7, with less than two minutes to go.  Words cannot describe the moment in the room when Bo's last pass was intercepted at the one yard line!  So much for the rest of the night......

Next day, rise and shine.  One of our companions had gone to the beach for a walk.  I noticed the light switch wasn't working in the bathroom, hummm, must a thrown a breaker.  Nope, electricity was out all along the beach.  We are on the eighteenth floor.  Guess what, no water pressured either!  In about 30 minutes the generator had the essentials working, especially the elevator and water pumps.  Interesting note, the maintenance men are not allowed on the elevators during a power outage, just in case they have to respond to an emergency, then its 20 floors of stairs for them!

Power back on, all cleaned up, it was time to pack up and head home.  Late October is a wonderful time for a beach trip.  Just don't be the lone wolf in a room watching SEC football with a bunch of women not totally familar with the rules of college football.  Painfull!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Game Day Notes - Oxford

A few notes and observations from Game Day Oxford:

1.  Short dresses and knee high boots are all the rage at the Grove.  Remember, that "cool outfit" will be even cooler when the sun goes down.

2.  Sorry honey, that cute dress you decided to wear today, all white, in mid October will have the sorority fashion police on you lickety split.  Probably why you were sitting home alone on bid day.

3.  Some of these dresses you girls are wearing to games are totally engineered wrong.  When you are walking up those stadium steps, tugging on that short hemline to keep it down, yes your boobies are gonna pop out the top!  And the reverse is true!  I almost missed a play or two because of you!

4.  Those short sleeve dry fit shirts come in handy in the heat of the afternoon.  Those night cool breezes start cutting right through you by the 4th quarter.

5.  To the lady that was so confused, she couldn't locate her seat, Section 1, row F, seat 29, is not located in section F, row 29, seat 29.  You are not seated on the home side 30 yard line.  My dear you are on the opposite end of the stadium, in the bowl, diagonal to the corner of the end zone.  How did you ever make it to Oxford????

6. Reaction of  Tennessee fans busted for carrying a case of beer:  "what do you mean I've got to pop every top and pour it all out???? . Welcome to the number one party school of the South.  You must research the rules of a foreign land before entering!

7.  Why does the guy and his pal sitting behind me have to sound so much like "Gary and Vern" the entire game?  Each of your knee jerk reactions to plays on the field that lead you to make stupid off base commentary got real old after the first quarter.  {Announcer said "2nd and 15 yards to go."  Incomplete pass.  Announcer says "3rd and 14."  Yard marker has not moved.  You say "how did they gain a yard?". Must be that common core math.....

8.  To Ole Miss Concessions:  you need to rotate cup colors.  The student section is killing yourcubeiness by bringing in last week's refillable cup!

9.  Hello Rebel fans with those igloo rolling cube coolers:  retire it soon.  It is too top heavy when loaded down with ice and beer.  Soon at you hit the curb with it, over it goes, spilling the contents out into the street, right in front of the University PoPo.  Yes, you will have to empty the contents.  Seen it way too many times already.

10.  Where in the hell is Elvis?????  Last year somebody hired him for every game.  This year, nothing.  Rumor has it that he works at the Oxford Walmart as his day job.  Somebody, hire him!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Got a Fever, Hope its Catching!

The signs were all there.  The spousal unit said were going to StarkVegas on Friday night because of the crowd that's going to be there.  Remember, she's a Rebel.  Well then, might as well go early!

Junction tailgate setup start time is 4:00.  Off we go to get there by 3:00 to help the Man Cub with the tents.  Plan two was to go downtown, eat early, enjoy the pep rally, then take in our first Cowbell Yell!  Always, I mean always, have a backup plan.....

The Queen of our Condo does an end run.  Man Cub obligated himself to a last minute trip to Columbus.  No problem, the spousal unit and I can handle this, been doing it for years on the Select Soccer circuit, in Rebellion land, etc.  We take up our spot, waiting for the Chapel chimes and the countdown guy to let us loose!
 This vacant space was soon to be filled to capacity.  Great spot.  If hell freezes over, we have the Chapel behind us.  Straight ahead is the student union for restroom runs and severe weather.  To the right is the Junction and to the left is Wade Davis Stadium.

In three minutes flat, tents up, on a hill, under a tree, and near a parking lot.  Notice the spousal unit, doing the Vanna White thing, a true Rebellion Fan in Dawg Country!  Note,  tent bags suspended to tent frame, covers inside the bag!  With potential onset of heavy rain coming, cover frame in the morning.  There was a lot of tent damage discovered the next morning from the rain.

Side trip to the MSU cheese stop.  Notes on the door announce, big and bold, no valligret cheese, all sold out.  Never fear, thankful for some cheddar and Edam.  Benefits of this here cow college.  And the ice cream, OMG!

Headed downtown for early dinner, with plans to take in the pep rally and other activities at the street party.  The streets were blocked off, then the bottom fell out of the sky.  Well poop!  There is always a plan B!

Headed to the Veranda, with the first table seating at 5:00.  Man Cub was able to join us on his return trip from Columbus.  Condo Queen had other plans....  Dessert, OMG,  the maroon and white cake (red velvet)!


Next stop, our first Cowbell Yell!  Make it back to campus.  Many thanks to the Man Cub for his driving skills.  Lots of traffic, congestion from the ESPN Game Day setup, and we end up with an awesome parking spot.  The line, it zigged and zagged for blocks.
Cowbells at the ready!

Made our way into the stadium.  Only two gates were open, side by side.  Ironic, to be at an Ag college and feel like cattle being herded through the gates!

Into the student section we went. The crowd was so big, it began to overflow into other sections. Fans of all ages, quite a mix.  Told the spousal unit I was ready to go back to school just for the student activities!  All my Facebook friends were wanting updates on the announcement of the ESPN guest speaker, surely it would come tonight!

We entered the stadium at 9:00,  thirty minutes early.  The cowbell ringing began!  The MSU Band marched in and took their spot.  More cowbell ringing!  Arms were getting heavy, with still twenty minutes to go!

Cowbells are now sagging to our waist. It's time!  We practiced ringing our cowbells responsibly.  Yes there are rules.  Once the center is over the bell, stop.  Once the quarterback has the ball, shake it like crazy!  Learned to listen to the announce say "first down 'Bulldawgs"!  We follow it with #HAILSTATE!  Got a lesson on " Pyscho Defense" from the coach, wow! Learned the " Hey" song.  Students love the "and we're gonna beat the hell outa you" part.  All this Had to be a sign....  Oh, and no guest picker announcement, rats!

Man Cub spent time packing the car before we all crashed.  Thank God,  we overslept!  Finished loading up, off we went.  First stop, ice.  Only 6 bags left in the cooler at 7:30 in the morning!  Had to be another sign.....

We work our way through campus, roads starting to close.  We beg to be let through, making it all the way to parking lot by our spot.  Another sign......

Had our site up and running in no I time flat.  That vacant space from the day before now was now overflowing.  Pays to be early!  Tents were up, tables were being set, satellite dishes were being tuned and charcoal was now ablaze.  Time to take in some of the sights!

The Little Red Wagon that Did!

Grill masters! With 18 slabs!

Best seat in the house!

OK, wires hooked up, dish pointed up, where's that damn signal????

Charging station in the Student Union, to be visited later!

Every thing is ready.  ESPN Game Day in full swing.  Cowbells are ringing loud and proud.  Campus is abuzz with activity.  Guests arriving.  Early games are getting started.  Time to eat.  Man Cub wanted some red beans and rice.  They had been simmering all night.  They were still working their magic in the crock pot when I lifted the lid of the cooler! Bean time!






 Visitors from the other school were everywhere, taking in game day in the Magnolia State.  All are welcome in God's Country.  One Auburn fan did indeed bring their version off a cowbell!




Stadium time!  We get there an hour before kickoff.  Student section has already been at it for an hour.  I don't think they ever sat down.  Nephew showed up with a sign, made especially for my rebellion spousal unit.


Sweet girl from Belzoni, sitting in front of us, two rows down, had on a special dress.  The Holy Cross had our backsides covered.  Yep! This had to be a sign!


Auburn turned the ball over on their first two possessions and the score was 21-0 in the first quarter!  Can you believe this?!!  #hailstate!


The stadium was the largest and loudest on record.  Cowbell ringing, I think we got a passing grade on responsibility, I think..   Couple of mishaps a long the way.  This fine Bulldawg fan soaked us a time or two with the contents of her cup, and I got hit on the head twice with her cowbell.  Got myself a new friend.

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Right before halftime the bottom fell out of the sky!  Missed the Band's halftime show, along with thousands of others taking shelter underneath!  Rain cooled the temperature off, but not the bulldawgs!  For luck, my cowbell was in hand the whole game.  Even my underwear was on backwards, a carryover from the last game.  As we get older, we get forgetful, and the tag ain't always in the right place, just saying!  Dawgs win!  Crowd stays put, in their seats!  And the goal post guards breathed a sigh of relief, poles still standing.                 

Crowds lingered, munching on the leftovers and watching other games in progress on those flat screens, with satellite signal coming in strong. Folks were so worn out from the excitement, you could hear the hum of all the generators.  While traffic began to clear, we headed back to the Student Union to hook up to that charging station, too many updates to post and only one bar left!

Students from both schools were sharing a meal.  Nice visits with students while charging.  Traffic took well over three hours to clear.  Campsites were clearing, ands Man Cub had us all packed up.  Traffic was moving at a snails pace.  Decided to chain tables to our friendly tree and tote gear to the car.  Its amazing what you can do with a little bitty wagon and a bunch of bungee cords.  Everything but the tables were racked, stacked and packed or slung over the shoulder!

We made it to Man Cub's friend, Derek and his apartment at Campus trails just in time to catch the ESPN switchover to the Rebellion game vs Texas A&M.  We were listening on radio as we worked our way thru the traffic maze. Helps to know your way around a college campus in the dark!

Derek had a wonderful pot of chili ready and the game on TV.  Rebellion won in grand fashion.  Two Mississippi teams 6-0 and moving up another notch in the top ten, both shooting for number one.  WOW!

Derek has a new friend, Monica, from China, a Fullbright fellowship award winner.  She and the spousal unit spent the day and night filling in each other with the different cultures.  That gal is now from "Southern" China, and will be greeting folks with "hey y'all" and "how's your mommannem" for years to come!

We hit the road, and pulled in around 2:30,  not bad for us old people.

So far it has been a magical season for both Dawg And Rebellion fans.  Hoping it continues to the Egg Bowl.  Hey, You never know what can happen if you believe hard enough!  #hailstate and go Rebellion!  

Time to reload. Our party moves back to Oxford!  The joys of a split household!

 Thanks for the readership! God Bless!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Game Day, #HailState

What a day in Starkville, Mississippi!

The excitement had begun to build long begin long before Saturday.  SEC Nation was coming to town.  The weather was gonna be awesome.  Only problem, somebody decided to schedule this game at 11:00!

OK, make the adjustments, no problem.  Food prep day the day before.  Pack the car the night before.  Set the alarm clock for 4, then hope for the best.  Sausage balls cooked, cooler packed, I'm off!

The man cub did his part, arriving well ahead of 4 hours before kickoff to drop off the supplies.  A college student up by 5 after a night of Bulldog Bash, amazing!  I found my "pay and park" spot, loaded up my trusty ole collapsible wagon and off I went.

We had the grill going in no time.  Deer sausage and man cub drop biscuits, awesome with a cold beer at 8 in the morning!?  We looked at each other, agreed, skip the beer, water will do!

My nephew needed to borrow one of my chafing dishes.  Seems he had brought a breakfast casserole that needed to stay warm.  He shows up for the pickup, first thing I see, he's got on his Maroon shirt, the color for the day.  Then I see he is wearing shorts.  Now,  the weather has taken a bit of a dip.  I left my flippers and shorts at home, too damn cool.  Nephew Chase is wearing those shorts of his, but those dang things were PINK!  I gave him a hard time about his choice of breakfast foods and his attire and he took it well!

Had some walkup company that took one look, and said "y'all seem to know what you're doing, we need some help.  Can you drop us some clues on how to do this tailgating thing?"

Freshmen parents that just drove in from Memphis.  They had to make several trips to the car, in the parking lot, half a mile away.  How do you get all this stuff in and out of here without killing yourself?  Man cub and I looked at each other, chuckled a bit, then looked at him and we both said "get here early and stay late".  Freshmen parents have to learn the " 4 hour before kickoff rule" the hard way.  Tents and tables dropped off the night before, securing some stuff to the tree.  Grill comes from the apartment or condo you will have for the next few years.  The rest of it, you just figure out on your own!

Lots of noise and excitement was coming from the Junction with SEC Nation in the middle of it all.  Alumni of years past will remember "malfunction junction" where five roads intersected near the stadium.  The roads are all gone, now replaced with an open space reserved for party tents and the hoards of Bulldog faithful to gather.

The stadium opened early.  The students filled there section in no time flat.  First come first served seating.  I took my seat an hour early to take it all in.  Team warm ups were in full swing!  I'm sitting on the visitors side.  The sun has not yet overcome the top of the stadium.  Sitting in that shade was some kinda chilly.  Thankfully I had my multipurpose jacket with me!

Stadium filled up, crowd began to warm up and the cowbells began to clang!  The A&M team has been here before with Johnny Football.  That was before the new enclosed end of the stadium.  The visitors dressing rooms were moved, and are now under the student section in their corner of the end zone.  Stomping on that concrete during  halftime, a new tradition at Wade Davis Stadium!

A&M went in for a score on their first possession with ease.  Oh shit, Johnny Football all over again.... State responded in kind.  A&M player ejected for targeting.  Head Referee caught with a live microphone cussing at himself on a screwup.  Could these be good signs of things to come???  Yes indeed!  Defense put on a show!  Dak Attack and company was impressive!

Halftime arrived.  Cousin Linda was my companion for the day.  She had to leave her seat for a bit.  We looked at each other and laughed!  We had not put our cowbells down the entire first half.  What was she to do?   In order to not break the luck, I kept mine in hand, the whole game.  Neighbor offered to fetch cold drinks for me to keep the luck running.  Dawgs win, in a big way!

The crowd was the loudest I've ever participated in.  Could not hear the referee or any of the anounncements throughout the game.  Hardly anyone left for concessions or gravity runs.  Had me thinking, how can a woman watch a football game for three straight hours without a gravity run, but yet, have to stop every hour on a road trip to pee????

Had a few people in the crowd that had their cowbells malfunction.  During a big score, their cowbell clapper got the clap and froze up, no clanger dinging at all!  Mighty frustrating indeed.  More cowbell needs more WD40!

The amazing thing to me, I was able to post updates to Facebook all game.  Video feeds were a bust, but what the hell.  I finally figured out why.  Folks in the stadium, with all the excitement, could not drink their drink, ring their bell, and text at the same time!  Me, I just put my cup between my knees and began updating away!

I didn't leave the stadium the whole game.  Before and after, I'd been digging for my friend threw my drawers and couldn't find him.  Finally did the submarine routine as a last second call.  Much later in the day, I finally discover my drawers are on backwards!  Another tradition to keep the winning streak going.  Whatever it takes!

After the game it was back to tailgating.  Friends stopping by to bask in the reflections of the success of the day.  Grill was fired back up, time for burger sliders and cold beer!  Then it got interesting. Lots of the TV's were now on the TSUN game.  Mostly curious, mostly its all about football.  Even the TV's in the student union were showing that game.  Man cub and I stopped to catch the last six minutes, out of respect for his mother and her side of the family, of course.

Ole Miss wins and they invade the field and tear down the goal posts.  MSU wins, and we go about our way, leaving the field and stadium intact.  There will probably be fines on both schools, for field distruction and excessive cowbell noise.  In my book, both are well worth writing the check!

#HailState and HYDR!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Game Day Oxford, Damn Rookies!

This ole blog of mine is a view of life through my eyes.  What I see and hear on any given day will eventually make it to here.  Some days are slower than others,  but not yesterday's football Saturday in Oxford.  Here are some of the sightings:

1.  Everybody that walks by the Popo tent with an exposed package of beer will be popping the tops and pouring the contents down the drain.  Its a given, see it every game day.  But, if you are going to bring a rolling cooler, with a lock, be sure that the top is gonna stay on it when you hit a bump.  Having the contents spill out right in front of the Popo is a sure fire way to ruin the rest of your day!

2.  When arriving to set up your tailgate, be smart enough to bring the right containers and equipment.  You can buy yourself a copy cat little red collapsible wagon to carry your stuff.  Breakables should be wrapped properly to avoid breakage.  Your crab, shrimp, and artichoke dips should be in spill proof containers.  You are not gonna be happy when that big ole plastic tub without a lid is dropped in the middle of the road, contents spilling out everywhere and your favorite piece of McCarty is now in 30 pieces!

3.  When you bring your little man cub to the game without your spousal unit, expect the unexpected.  When he gets a bobo on his finger and sees a little drop of blood, his is gonna cry.  Putting said finger in your mouth ain't gonna do the trick.  Glad I was able to remind you about Band-Aids at the first aid station and the snow cone to cure those tears.  Lesson learned to you!

4.  If you plan to party hardy, have several airplane barf bags handy.  Having two of your former best friends walk you to the car three hours before kickoff is not cool.  Projectile vomiting in front of the PoPo is even worse!  And no, the bicycle taxi guy is not going to take you anywhere at the risk of more spillage!

5.  Hey Memphis off duty cops, that badge in your back pocket is not going to give you a free pass on the open container ordinances on this campus.  You will pour it out or you will get a free ride to the local pokey courtesy of our friend Glenn and his other copsters!

6.  If you are going to wear that short dress to the game, do not take the lead walking up the stairs.  That gets very distracting to the folks like me that sit on the end of the row!

7.  As you are leaving the area on a golf cart it is not a good idea to pull your little blue wagon behind.  Those curves and turns are funny to me and my crew, but not to the passersby you almost wipe out!

8.  When hiring these kids to work in the concession stand, make sure they can add up the cost of six items in their head.  Waiting in line with 30 other people while they pull out their calculator is a littler irritating.

9.  To the two dudes sitting behind me.  Keep your ignorance of the game of football to yourselves.  Yelling B.S. at the referees from 30 rows up, then hearing the ruling explained, then say, "oh, my bad" all game gets old after the first quarter.  I'm gonna bring my own flag with me next game and penalize you for being stupid.  No wonder you only bring man dates to the game!

10.  To the makers of all these red and blue game day dresses.  Could y'all get together and pick several kinds of material to use.  They are all beginning to look like uniforms!

11.  Ladies, do like my friends Emily and Janice.  They bring a minimum of four outfits and three pairs of shoes to each game.  You must be prepared for hot, cold, wet, and muggy weather.  Walking back after the game barefoot is not how your momma taught you!

12.  For all you Rebellion fans, have your spousal unit or date double check your tickets before leaving the house.  Ross Bjork announced in his three things to remember that you must bring the bar code portion of your ticket with you in order to be able to enter the game.  Having the date, section, row, and seat number is not enough information to be allowed into the stadium.  The attendant has to have that bar code in order to scan your ticket for you to get in.  They ain't paperless yet, and explaining to your spouse why she can't shake her fanny like a cheerleader wantabe today is not gonna be good for your health!

13. And where the hell is Elvis?  Dude! You have missed two home games already!

14.  To the concessionaires.  The $8 refillable cup is a great idea.  But, remember to rotate the color of the cup each week.  People like my friend Hart will bring last week's cup for free drinks all season.

15.  To the CSpire crew sitting in front of me.  Nice chatting with you about the fails of two weeks of beta testing the wireless network.  I was glad to give you feedback other than its a P.O.S.  Don't think two weeks of beta testing are gonna cut it.  Those that tried it said it sucked and there is no way they are going to pay $5 next week to use it.  Your CSpire customers will be happy because they will be the only ones on it!

Next weekend the spousal unit and I are splitting up.  She'll be in Oxford and I'm headed to Starkville.  I don't think the Rebellion is ready to be "Roll Tided" after last nights performance against Memphis.  And the kicker getting tossed for fighting????  He is the kick safety valve for God's sake!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oxford

Got a wild hair and decided to spend a birthday weekend night in the spousal unit's piece of heaven, Oxford.  Spent some time on the pc last weekend and found us a room at the Hampton on hwy 7.  Surprise number one, rooms were available.  Surprise number two, no two night minimum.  Surprise number three, nightly rate was $329.  Luckily we had enough reward points for a freebe!

Now, where does a big ole boy like me go to eat in a town full of rebellion alumni on a football weekend.  City Grocery and Ajax have been on the eatery list for quite some time.  City Grocery's reservation list was booked up for Friday and Saturday night.  Surprise number four, I got a spot for lunch.  Tailgating buddies will have to get it started without me.  Hopefully busting those beer case toters will wait till my arrival.  I get such a kick outta watching those poor souls have to pour that liquid gold on the ground.

Had a close call checking in the hotel.  The clerk couldn't find our paperwork.  My heart done skipped a beat or two.  Fear not, it was on the bottom.  I asked that since it was my birthday weekend they had reserved my the presidential suite.  The clerk said IF they had one it would be all mine! They loaded us up with bottled water, cokes, and a snack or two, prizes for being gold members!

The spousal unit requested a stop at her favorite shopping hole, Rebel Rags.  Weird name, ain't no rags in the place, nothing but a sea of red and blue. After a quick walk through, I took my seat outside to observe the bird watching opportunities.  This town does not disappoint.  Blondes from 16 to 62 came and went, all exiting with a bag with something they could not do without.  I just love seeing these older women sporting hair styles and clothing attire more befitting the younger generation.  Then I see the younger ones, wearing it as short and tight as it will fit.  No wonder the high school boys lose their hearts to this place so quickly!

Spousal unit spent over 30 minutes in there and came out with nothing.  I mentioned that they had one of those round tailgating tables in there.  Off she went, back into that sea of red and blue.  A few minutes later she pops out with a table and a tshirt.  Is magical how that happens!

Shopping done, it was time to head to the square.  As we made our way, I noticed that most of the parking lots, including the church lots, we're blocked off, all reserved for those that had paid for football season parking.  Even the churches are squeezing the alumni on parking, just like the TN university! A few weeks ago the city decided to get in on the act by putting in parking meters throughout the square.  Knowing that we would be there longer than an hour, I found a freebee by a church.  As we walked you could see the meters just a flashing their green signal that it was time for another dollar or a ticket, which ever came first!

We made our way around the Square, making note were the hot spots were located.  Bars and restaurants are in the same spots,  but the names keep changing.  Found Ajax, in we went.  Young friend of ours,  Ryan, was working in the kitchen,  and we were able to say hello.  If you want comfort food, this is the place!

Decided to walk off our meal with a walk around to take in some more sites.  We begin to cross the street when we hear a male voice yell "LANelle!"  Friends Becky and David Jordan were up on the balcony at Roosters.  Time for a beer and catch up on life!

The balcony is a great spot to take in the town.  It's not like NOLA with beads and bare beasts being flashed.  You see and speak to old friends of years past, you flirt with the waitress that just started the job today, and you make and listen to the commentary regarding  those passing by below.  Trust me, the women are as bad as us men on the play by play and they point out things the guys don't need to miss!

Glad we are early.  Everybody else was hanging out, drinking, waiting for their text message that their table was ready.  Can't imagine the lines on a big SEC weekend, it's just Memphis this go round.

Time to get ready for my much anticipated lunch at City Grocery, then off to tailgate with my rebellion friends.  Ain't nothing like a football weekend up here in Oxford, in spite of the sea of red and blue!

It's a fact, they never lose a party up here!

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Want to be like Barbie

Last night I joined the spousal unit and ventured into the world of Barbie Bassett wantabes by attending one of their group "join us" meetings.  The attendees were encouraged to bring their spouses so that they could hear her story from her husband's perspective.

The company is Rodan and Fields, and the product focus is skin care products sold and promoted through direct marketing.  Barbie is the top dog for our area and she recently retired from her meteorologist position with a local TV station to promote this business full time.

Before things got started, all the buzz was about Barbie's successes with Rodan and Fields.  She is a mother of three, she home schools her children, she now does this full time, she drives a company Lexis, she's making a million dollars, and now her husband has retired to join her full time.  Hum,  OK........

The meeting got started, and Barbie went into her spill.  She was approached about Rodan and Fields early in the kickoff of their direct selling strategy.  She is a pubic figure in the Mississippi market, good game plan.

I've heard it all before.  Sell to your circle around you.  First, to family, then to friends and neighbors, then branch out just a bit to expand your network.  Sell these folks on the business model that it can work for them, and before you know it, you have your own Rodan and Fields network!

Sounds fine.  You buy in.  Small investment of money, big investment of your time.  No inventory to stock, everything is ordered online.  Bring on the Lexis!  Look out family, neighbors, and friends, here I come!

When Barbie finished her presentation, she introduced her husband, who presented his story from a spousal unit's perspective.  OK, I'm all in!

From his point of view, OK, Barbie, give this a shot.  She wanted this, and she was willing to put in the effort to make a go of it, along with being a mother of three, home schooling them, TV job, author, and public speaker.  He quickly discovered that this new venture was pulling his wife away from family time and couple time.  Whoa!  She was now spending a considerable amount of time away from home.  He would have to pick up the slack on the home front.  Whoops!  He didn't plan on that, back up, time to organize the family calendar so he could grasp what this was going to cost him!  Sound familiar????

Well,  Barbie, being a public figure, has the right kind of circle that can make this work.  She has put in the time that it takes to make it work.  She is making a good living, and she is driving that Lexis.   Good for her!

Now,  step back, analyze this.  Barbie is successful at this because she put in the time and effort to make it work.  It cut into family time.  It cut into husband time.  The Lexis, its a car allowance, and her name is on the lease for it for three years.  She is not making a million dollars.  She has joined the million dollar sales team.  Her cut, commission wise is 15 to 30 percent.  A rough estimate would be $250,000 to $300,000 a year, after investing three  years of her time.  The husband did not retire, he cut his full time work back to two days a week.  Why?  He loves what he does, plus, most likely, he is still working to provide his family medical coverage through his employer.

OK, time to step back in closer.  Products are great, but at a higher cost.  Why?  Highest quality without a prescription.  And, somebody has to pay all those levels of commission to all the lucky folks that are above you in the foods chain.  Heard  it before, hearing it again.

So, if you want to be like Barbie, more power to you.  Just remember, it ain't easy, its gonna take a major commitment of your time, so either go all in or not at all. This applies to all of these direct selling opportunities that are out there today.  Worse case, you make enough to cover the cost of the product you use.

 Is it worth the time and effort?  Time will tell...